Balenciaga wipes Instagram feed in support of Iranian women's rights

Once again the house uses its platform to highlight social issues

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Spanish maison Balenciaga has once again wiped its Instagram account, this time in support of women's rights in Iran.

On Wednesday, the official account, which has more than 14 million followers, featured only one post, which reads "Women Life Freedom" in English and Farsi.

The accompanying caption, on behalf of the brand and its parent company, reads: "Balenciaga, Kering and the Kering Foundation have always supported the fight for women's fundamental rights and freedom. We stand with all Iranian women, in memory of Mahsa."

Mahsa Amini is the Kurdish-Iranian woman whose death at the hands of the Iranian morality police sparked the recent unrest across the country. Iranian women have been removing their head coverings and cutting off their hair in protest to her death.

Scroll through the gallery above to see photos of protests around the world in support of Mahsa Amini

The move comes only days after the brand's Paris Fashion Week show, which had models with fake bruises and injuries on their faces, walking through a mud-filled runway.

This is not the first time that Balenciaga, headed by the designer Demna, has offered support to social and political causes. In March, following the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February — the country where the designer spent part of his childhood — the Balenciaga Instagram account was wiped clean, except for an image of the Ukrainian flag. Its Stories and Reels have previously featured statements in support of numerous causes, including the fight against racism, for gender equality and in support of the human rights of refugees.

Kering also owns Gucci, which has weighed in on the situation as well, writing on its Instagram Stories: "As a House, and through our Chime for Change campaign to unite and strengthen voices in the fight for gender equality, we stand with all Iranian women."

Balenciaga is among a handful of high-profile brands that understand the impact of Instagram and how deleting images and posts or the entire account draws huge attention.

In May 2021, to formally mark the retirement of Jean Paul Gaultier from his eponymous brand, its social media pages were deleted, and instead replaced with two words: "The End".

The following month, Italian house Bottega Veneta wiped clean all of its posts on social media accounts, sending the already buzzing atmosphere around the company into hyper-drive. Then under the leadership of Daniel Lee, who has just been named as the new creative director at Burberry, the surprise move of deleting all of the brand's social media posts as his designs were sparking widespread adoration, generated even more interest.

Ye, the artist formally known as Kanye West, has deleted posts across his accounts on numerous occasions. In October 2018, he deleted his accounts citing his "unhealthy" posts, and again in March 2022 after publicly insulting his ex-wife Kim Kardashian. No sooner had he started posting again than he was given a 24-hour ban by Meta, Instagram's parent company, for what it described as messages that "violated Instagram’s policies on hate speech, bullying and harassment". This was regarding Ye's comments about Pete Davidson, who was then dating Kardashian, as well as comedian Trevor Noah.

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Updated: October 06, 2022, 12:51 PM